September 1 2009, 11:23 AM
If it was a publicity stunt, it worked. Ken Buck got good mileage out of the press yesterday as he was expected to announce that his bid for the U.S. Senate had come to an early end. Forget the lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union that maintains the Republican district attorney from Weld County went on a "fishing expedition" when his office seized thousands of tax documents from alleged undocumented immigrants in an identity-theft investigation (via 9News). Buck has fans. He says he received "hundreds" of e-mails and phone calls over the weekend urging him to stay in the race even though it appears the National Republican Senatorial Committee is backing the candidacy of former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton, who has not formally announced a campaign, according to The Denver Post. Buck says "Washington, D.C., insiders" are behind the "shenanigans," adding that he called Norton to tell her he was still in the race. The Colorado Independent reports that Republican grassroots bloggers like Ben DeGrow, a policy analyst at the libertarian-minded Independence Institute, are leading a backlash against the NRSC's "coronation" of Norton. Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, FiveThirtyEight sees former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff's possible candidacy for the seat held by U.S. Senator Michael Bennet as a "win-win" for the party, writing, "If Bennet holds on, and that is more likely than not, he'll have gained some experience as a campaigner and may become a stronger general election candidate."